2011, IFC Midnight, 119 min, Australia, Dir: Justin Kurzel

In Justin Kurzel's directorial debut, the bizarre saga of Australia's most infamous serial killer is brought to the screen with mesmerizing and pitiless intensity. Taciturn teen Jamie Vlassakis (Lucas Pittaway) and his single mother and younger brothers live an unenviable existence on the atrophied outskirts of Adelaide. When the charismatic and paternal John (a terrific Daniel Henshall) enters their lives, everything seems to be looking up for the beleaguered family, so much that Jamie overlooks John's cultish obsession with revenge in favor of bonding with his new father figure. As John involves Jamie in increasingly unsettling acts of violence, a brutal, perfectly structured tale untwines of the snowballing effect of murder, and of Darwinism gone frightfully wrong. Winner of the FIPRESCI Prize Special Mention at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.

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